Title: The S-WordAuthor: Chelsea Pitcher
Published: expected release date May 7th, 2013 by Gallery Books
Source: eARC from publisher
First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker. But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.
Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.
Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.
Mrs. Beamer's Review:
This book takes a cold, hard look at how every action, every non-action, effects something...effects someone. And in this high school setting, that effect is death . Our protagonist, Angie, struggles to understand her (possible) role in best friend Lizzie's suicide. I never truly connected to Angie...but, as a reader, I understood her for the character she played in this book. The truth...she was my least favorite character, simply because I didn't feel like I got to know her. She "opened up" for me toward the end of the book, but I wanted more sooner.
The supporting characters were what hooked me. LOVED Jesse. What a unique and special person...well done, Chelsea ;) Personally, I'm craving for more of his story! And Drake epitomized what I think of as "typical high school jock". The author did a great job revealing his character layer by layer. I found Lizzie fascinating, even though I didn't want to like her (due to her choice to commit suicide). She took so many secrets with her when she died. I couldn't help but empathize with her. I wanted to have her back so I could encourage her to trust more...to open herself up to those around her.
This book tackles the ugly truth that is high school. Its cliques... its stereotypes... its unfairness... its judgements... its sadness... its melodrama. The S-Word, and its message "every action has a consequence" hopefully will spur teen readers to evaluate their actions...to think about their behaviors. To my surprise, I didn't find this book to be preachy. I found it to be a powerful study of teen relationships. I think it's a wonderful debut novel and a fantastic selection for a teen book club read.
Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Sexual Content: 2.5
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: college
Potential Controversial Topics: not listing due to potential spoilers